You can find a one-year Bible reading plan here.
One doesn’t usually turn to Romans 1 to study spiritual gifts, but the term is there in black and white. “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you.” Paul said that he wanted to use his gifts to strengthen them. The emphasis isn’t on a particular gift but on the use of one’s gift and the grace which pours out through the use of the gift. In the passage from Romans 1 the gift will be used to strengthen another’s faith. No mention here of the catalog of gifts. Rather, Paul stresses the importance of using one’s gift to strengthen another believer. The door is open to do whatever one can, by grace, to help build up another believer. The particular gift doesn’t matter, only that grace is extended to a brother or sister to strengthen their faith.
Grace is the life-blood that unites the many organs of our church body. We distribute that grace to each other through our giftedness. John Piper has said that grace is the currency in the household of God and that spiritual gifts are abilities through which we receive God’s grace and distribute it to others. Can you see that the nature of the gift we employ is less important than the distribution of grace? If you are my brother or sister in need of God’s grace, then I should use whatever gifts God has given me to meet your need and strengthen your faith. Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 go on to list the various gifts. Each believer may be especially gifted in one or more of these categories, but my point today is that in a particular situation with a brother in need, however you meet that need and extend God’s grace is a use of spiritual giftedness. It’s not about you and your gift, but it’s all about grace meeting another’s need and thereby glorifying God.
Peter said the purpose of gifts was to serve one another for the glory of God (I Peter 4:10-11). Paul said we are to use our gifts for the common good (I Corinthians 12:7). As you read about the various categories of gifts this week, remember that you can use any of them in particular situations to distribute God’s grace as the need arises. Don’t fret about your specific gift. Extend grace in whatever way God provides and that will be your gift.
About this blog
During 2020 I plan to post weekly writings covering the material you would read during each week as you proceed from Genesis to Revelation in one year. And so for this week I have covered Romans 8 – I Corinthians 14. Next week I will write about I Corinthians 15 – Ephesians 3. I hope you will continue along with me. You can find daily posts about these chapters archived here on the Bible in a Year blog. For your convenience here are the previous posts covering Romans 8 – I Corinthians 14.
In the fight, but already victorious: Romans 8
Mind, body, and God’s will: Romans 12
A tale of two Christians: Romans 14
Powerful foolishness: I Corinthians 1-4
Running for the prize: I Corinthians 9